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Ibtisam

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Ibtisam head
Ibtisam
Biographical information
Homeworld

Mon Calamari[1]

Died

5 ABY (40:3 GrS), Ciutric IV[2]

Physical description
Species

Mon Calamari[1]

Gender

Female[1]

Eye color

Black/yellow[3]

Skin color

Blue/green[2]

Chronological and political information
Era(s)
Affiliation
"What made Ibtisam a Rogue was her willingness to accept danger because the payoff of freedom for others was more than worth it."
―Wedge Antilles[src]

Ibtisam was a female Mon Calamari pilot who flew for the Rebel Alliance and the New Republic during the Galactic Civil War. Driven by a refusal to stand by and watch as her people were destroyed by the Empire, she joined the Alliance Starfighter Corps around 4 ABY. Ibtisam volunteered to fly a modified B-wing starfighter at the Battle of Endor, but was shot down during the massive fleet action and spent twelve hours adrift in space.

After spending several months recovering from trauma, Ibtisam joined Rogue Squadron, though to her immense annoyance she was forced to pilot an X-wing starfighter. She initially clashed with fellow Rogue Nrin Vakil; the Mon Calamari and the Quarren species were traditionally hostile towards each other, though the two beings overcame this animosity. They flew alongside each other during missions to Eiattu 6 and Malrev IV as well as at the Battle of Brentaal IV. Ibtisam and fellow pilot Wes Janson were shot down over Brentaal IV, though they managed to evade Imperial forces and return to their unit.

In early 5 ABY, Ibtisam and Rogue Squadron were sent to the planet Ciutric IV to retrieve former Imperial Grand Vizier Sate Pestage and return him safely to the New Republic. By this point, she and Nrin Vakil had grown very close, and their friendship was bordering on romance. Their relationship reached an end on Ciutric, though, when Ibtisam was shot down by Imperial TIE fighters. She was mourned by her fellow Rogues at her funeral on Ciutric, and years later, the news of her relationship with Nrin helped to promote interrelations between the two species.

BiographyEdit

B-wing pilotEdit

Ibtisam shotdown

Ibtisam is shot down over Endor.

"I volunteered for B-wing training in preparation for Endor. Got myself a nice little ship too. I had her souped up far beyond the specs."
"So what happened to her?"
"We ran into a little trouble during the second wave over Endor.
"
―Ibtisam discusses her past with Plourr Ilo[src]

Ibtisam was a female Mon Calamari native to the planet Mon Calamari.[1] When translated into Basic, her name meant "sunset, as seen from the sea."[4] When her people were enslaved by the Galactic Empire, Ibtisam decided to act: she joined the Alliance to Restore the Republic. She enlisted in the Alliance Starfighter Corps[1] and, after training, volunteered to fly in one of the first B-wing starfighter squadrons formed by the Alliance.[5] Around 4 ABY she greatly modified the starfighter that had been assigned to her, pairing up with another pilot by name of Plourr Ilo during the Galactic Civil War. She saw great value in the novelty of the B-wing and considered other fighters, such as the X-wing starfighter, to be obsolete.[3]

Ibtisam and her squadron fought at the Battle of Endor as part of the Alliance Fleet under Admiral Ackbar, flying against Baron Soontir Fel's 181st Imperial Fighter Group.[1] During the second wave of their assault, however, Ibtisam's fighter was destroyed by the 181st; she ejected, but had to spend twelve hours drifting aimlessly through the Endor system. Although she was eventually retrieved and left unscathed, Ibtisam was mentally traumatized by the event and spent four months on psychiatric leave. She had developed mild agoraphobia after the experience, though the confines of a cockpit were usually enough to keep her fears at bay.[5] Upon her return to duty, however, she was assigned to Rogue Squadron, an X-wing unit.[6]

RogueEdit

"Wow, look at 'em go at it."
"Yeah, they're either going to kill each other, or take the union vow."
―Plourr Ilo and Feylis Ardele, discussing Ibtisam and Vakil's early relationship[src]

Ibtisam did not make the initial cut for the squadron, but remained as a reserve, ready to be called up to the squadron proper should it incur any casualties.[7] She had serious qualms about her transfer to Rogue Squadron, and made no effort to hide her disdain for the X-wing, though she carried out her duties as she had been ordered to. The squadron had lost several members during a mission on Tatooine, and Ibtisam was selected to take the place of one of the fallen, assuming the callsign of Rogue Two. She and the other new recruits spent several weeks in the simulators at Captain Wedge Antilles's insistence, so that the squadron could get reacquainted. Ibtisam performed well in the simulators, though outside of her false cockpit she was often arrogant and was constantly at odds with another pilot, Nrin Vakil, a Quarren. The Quarren were known for their traditional animosity towards Mon Calamari; Ibtisam and Vakil were no exception and annoyed their fellow squadmates with their incessant arguments about starfighters.[3] Ibtisam harbored a secret attraction to her fellow pilot, though at the same time disliked him immensely.[5] Although she was not particularly happy to be in Rogue Squadron, by the time of her first mission, she had one of the highest simulated kill ratings of the Rogues.[3] Antilles had noticed the quarreling between Ibtisam and Nrin, and requested that they put a stop to it; hoping to look professional in the eyes of their superior, they both kept their animosity in check.[1]

Ibtisam big gun

Ibtisam in the swamps of Eiattu 6.

The Rogues were dispatched to the planet Eiattu 6, the homeworld of Ibtisam's old friend, Plourr Ilo, who was also a member of Rogue Squadron. The Rogues were to escort Ilo to Eiattu 6 and assist her in her attempts to bring peace to the world, which was on the verge of civil war. While Ilo and some of the squadron's senior members met with various Eiattu nobility, Ibtisam and the others spent their time scouting the world on Thuvasaurs. During one of their journeys through the planet's jungles, the Sullustan Dllr Nep's superior auditory senses picked up distant blaster fire, and the Rogues rushed to investigate. They found the source of the noise of combat, a group of Imperial stormtroopers, and engaged in a frenzied firefight with them. With TIE fighters performing strafing passes overhead, the Rogues had little choice but to flee, eventually running into a group of People's Liberation Battalion members led by the impostor Harrandatha Estillo. The rebels allowed Ibtisam and her fellows shelter and food for the night in their camp, though comlink communications were blocked.[3]

As promised, they were escorted to their rendezvous with Antilles in the city, though they were soon back in the jungle searching for Ilo and Count Arian Laabann, who had been ambushed. Dllr Nep was using his hearing as a means of locating any blaster fire, though a device hidden on a tree branch was running interference. With the Rogues unable to identify which direction they were approaching from, a group of Imperial scout troopers surrounded them and took them all—except Vakil, whom they believed dead—to a prison complex run by Moff Leonia Tavira. Tavira questioned them before eventually leaving them alone in their cell; Vakil took this opportunity to rescue them. The Rogues blasted their way out of the prison and Tavira was forced to flee with only a partial amount of her stolen money. The mission was a success, though Ilo decided to stay on Eiattu 6 to ensure that a peaceful regime stayed in place. The mission also marked the beginning of improved relations between Vakil and Ibtisam, who was extremely grateful for the Quarren's rescue; after his bravery in freeing them, she began to reevaluate her opinion of him.[3]

Mission to the Malrev systemEdit

"What I'm trying to say, Nrin, is that your loss would be felt…most keenly. Good luck, Quarren."
―Ibtisam reveals her growing feelings for Nrin Vakil[src]

After leaving Eiattu 6, the Rogues were sent to try and locate the Starfaring, a Bothan starship that had disappeared while in the Malrev system. They flew into Malrev IV's atmosphere, but were ambushed by a group of TIE fighters, who shot down Antilles. Though Ibtisam and her fellow Rogues were able to fend them off, Antilles crashed in the planet's vast forest. Before they could mount a rescue operation, however, they found the Starfaring in a clearing and set their fighters down beside it. The Bothans on the starliner told Ibtisam that their hyperdrive was severely damaged and that their engineers had been picked off by native beasts called Irrukiine. The Bothan tourists promised to assist them in searching for Antilles, though were adamant that they wait until morning so as to avoid the savage Irrukiine.[8]

Ibtisam

Ibtisam, Rogue Two.

The Rogues clashed with the male Bothan tourists, who had started a fight with Nrin Vakil. The Bothans came out on top, though an Irrukiine attack drew the confrontation to a premature close. Ibtisam helped fight them off alongside Vakil, though the Quarren soon fled to the safety of the clearing. Before long, the Rogues were vastly outnumbered; the Irrukiine were also bizarrely using Imperial issue blasters. They were rescued by Vakil, however, who flew his X-wing into the beasts, killing hordes until they retreated into the jungle. Ibtisam thanked Nrin and apologized for calling him a coward, and later in the night, she had a dream in which Nrin denounced the Mon Calamari for ever traveling into space. In the dream, Nrin claimed that the Mon Calamari's spacefaring would encourage others to enslave the planet. Ibtisam recognized that the dream could not have happened, but she nevertheless understood from where Nrin was coming.[8]

The Rogues and their Bothan allies traveled into the jungle in search of Antilles the next day, though they soon realized that the Bothans were not the tourists they claimed to be, as their hyperdrive had been purposely sabotaged and they were leading the Rogues in a direction away from where Antilles's fighter crashed. They soon learned where the Bothans were leading them: a great temple, which was infused with dark side energy. The group was again attacked by Irrukiine, though with the help of Antilles—who had escaped his imprisonment in the temple—they defeated the native beasts. It was at the cost of three squadron members, however, as Dllr Nep went missing, while Derek Klivian and Herian I'ngre had to spend time in bacta tanks.[8]

Antilles, Tycho Celchu, and Wes Janson scouted the area in their fighters while Ibtisam and the others stayed on the ground, though the Mon Calamari was again in the air after a while, helping to fight off Irrukiine-flown TIE fighters, guided via the Force by the dark magician Cartariun. Hopelessly outnumbered, the Rogues were saved when Cartariun's magic ceased and the Irrukiine crashed their TIEs. They returned to camp, though Girov Dza'tey, the Bothan leader, had left and was filling Cartariun's role at the Sith temple. Herian I'ngre was receiving telepathic messages from Dllr Nep in the temple and pleaded with Antilles to confront the dark siders and destroy the temple. He agreed, despite the overwhelming odds they would face fighting against Girov's TIE/IN interceptors. Before the battle, Ibtisam revealed her growing feelings for Nrin to the Quarren and told him she would mourn him if he died. The Quarren replied that people would always die in war, though he returned the compliment to Ibtisam.[8]

The Rogues engaged large numbers of TIE interceptors while the remaining Bothans attempted to attack the temple on the ground. Ibtisam, Nrin, and the others were rescued by a large number of Eiattu starfighters, led by Plourr Ilo, who helped them fight off the TIEs. The battle was cut short when Herian I'ngre, piloting Feylis Ardele's damaged starfighter, crashed into the temple, killing herself, Cartariun, Girov, and Dllr. The TIE interceptors crashed, and the Rogues left Malrev IV with their mission accomplished, albeit minus two members.[8]

Battle for Brentaal IVEdit

"Isoto had that beast fitted with E-webs for anti-fighter purposes. We're going to blow it up."
"Big target. Hard to miss."
"True enough, darling, especially because we'll be inside it when we strike.
"
―Kapp Dendo and Ibtisam discuss their mission[src]

Nine months after the Battle of Endor, the New Republic launched a major offensive against the planet Brentaal IV, spearheaded by Ibtisam and Rogue Squadron. The world held considerable strategic value and its forces were commanded by Admiral Lon Isoto, a man known for his incompetence, of which Ackbar hoped to take advantage. The preliminary skirmish went well for the New Republic fleet, though they then had to face off with the 181st over the city of Vuultin. Ibtisam and Wes Janson were shot down and had to bail out onto hostile territory. To Antilles and Vakil's fury, Rogue Squadron was ordered to return to the Independence, leaving an injured Ibtisam and Janson alone and trapped behind enemy lines.[9]

Ibtisam XWRS24

Ibtisam, Janson, and Kapp Dendo fight Imperials on Brentaal IV.

The two took refuge from the desert by a large rock and waited for dark, though Ibtisam's health was slowly deteriorating. She was becoming dehydrated and delusional; unwilling to leave her and escape himself, Janson stayed by her side and tried to persuade her to move on to a new area. Before they could, however, a group of Imperial stormtroopers surrounded them and took them prisoner. When Ibtisam awoke, her health was back to normal and she and Janson spent several hours in custody before being released by a stormtrooper. The trooper escorted them to a Devaronian named Kapp Dendo—actually a New Republic ground operative. Dendo apologized for their rough treatment, but explained that they could not afford to compromise their cover. To the two pilots' anger, however, Dendo informed them that he couldn't spare the men to return them to their squadron, though offered them the chance to work with him instead. Ibtisam and Janson were to use explosives to internally destroy a planetary defense network installed by Isoto. With little other option, the two Rogues began their mission, supplemented by Dendo and a group of his commandos.[9]

They stormed the defense complex, with Ibtisam and Dendo's people providing cover for Janson while he placed charges on key points of the structure. When all the charges were finally placed, Ibtisam, Janson, and Dendo had just seconds to escape the structure on a skiff, though managed to do so without incurring any casualties. With their mission completed, Ibtisam and Janson returned to Home One to learn that the other Rogues had succeeded against the 181st and had captured Baron Fel. Impressed with her skills on the ground, Kapp Dendo offered the Mon Calamari a place in his squadron, though Ibtisam refused, claiming she felt that ground combat lacked the thrill of starfighter combat. Nrin Vakil had been extremely worried for her safety while she was grounded, though, despite the urges of other Rogues, did not reveal his joy at her recovery.[9]

Later actionEdit

"The animosity between out us…I've hated it. Our people do not get along, but we don't have to be our people, do we?"
―Ibtisam, to Nrin Vakil[src]

The Rogues had lost pilots on Brentaal and to the squadron's immense surprise, Baron Fel became their newest member. having defected to the New Republic; Nrin in particular was deeply shocked, and attempted to throttle Fel. Antilles ordered them to fly with the ex-Imperial pilot, though Ibtisam and Nrin were given a few days rest while Klivian, Janson, and Plourr Ilo went to Corellia to try and find Fel's wife.[10] They were soon flying again on a routine training run, where they encountered a group of pirates. They chased the pirates away from the cruiser they were attacking, and although Ibtisam got a hold of their exit vector, they were ordered not to pursue them. Days later, Sate Pestage, the leader of the Empire, arranged a summit with Leia Organa on Eiattu 6, while a decoy Leia, the New Republic agent Winter, went with Tycho Celchu to Axxila. The Rogues were placed around Axxila, so that they could help Celchu and Winter if they were attacked. Janson and Klivian had discovered that the pirates that they had clashed with earlier were in one of the local cantinas, and Ibtisam, Nrin, and Xarcce Huwla were sent there to keep and eye on them.[11]

IbNrinAxxila

Ibtisam and Nrin, on Axxila.

In the cantina on Axxila, Ibtisam mentioned to Nrin that she could see a change in him, one that she felt was for the better. Huwla spoke of Nrin's sadness while Ibtisam was on the ground on Brentaal IV, which the Mon Calamari felt was a step forward in their improving relationship. She confessed her anger at the traditional animosity between her species and the Quarren, and the two agreed to rise above old rivalries.[11]

They noticed a group of pirates eying them, and Ibtisam and Nrin went to pursue them when they moved out into the open. Nrin had wished to go alone, though Ibtisam insisted on accompanying him. They walked straight into an ambush, though with Huwla's assistance, they managed to incapacitate the pirates. They returned to report to Antilles, though they soon were out in their X-wings once again, hoping to rescue Celchu and Winter, who had escaped from imprisonment in a starfighter and were being pursued by the pirates they had encountered previously. Nrin, injured by one of the pirate's stray blaster bolts, stayed behind as Huwla and Ibtisam flew through Axxila's streets blasting the pirate fighters. They were greatly outnumbered, though with the assistance of Han Solo and Baron Fel in the Millennium Falcon, they fought off the pirates, rescued Celchu and Winter, and escaped from Axxila.[11]

Mission to Ciutric IVEdit

"Can anyone see Two? Do you copy, Ibtisam?"
―Nrin Vakil, after Ibtisam's fighter was shot down[src]

After the events on Axxila, the Rogues were given some recuperation time, which Ibtisam largely spent in the company of Nrin. The bond between the two was growing stronger and they used much of their free time walking in the public gardens near their base. Their time together was cut short, however, when an emergency signal ordered the Rogues to gather and prepare for their next mission. Sate Pestage, the former Imperial Grand Vizier who had made arrangements with the New Republic to defect, had fled to Ciutric IV and was captured by Leonia Tavira. The Rogues, Horton Salm's Aggressor Wing, and a commando team led by Kapp Dendo would be flying in to Ciutric to extract Pestage and take him back to the New Republic. It was an extremely dangerous mission, as the Empire was also hoping to snatch Pestage from Tavira's grasp, but the Rogues planned to leave the system as quickly as possible.[2]

IbtisamNrin

Ibtisam and Nrin embrace, moments before her final dogfight.

The Rogues and Aggressor Wing occupied the Imperial forces in orbit while Dendo and his men reached the surface via transport shuttles. The Rogues picked off the local Imperial pilots with ease, while Dendo managed to retrieve Pestage on the ground. The arrival of an Imperial II-class Star Destroyer and an Interdictor-class Star Destroyer, however, meant that the Rogues' vector of escape was blocked off. Aggressor Wing was able to escape and fled back to inform the New Republic of the situation and bring back reinforcements. With little other option, Ibtisam and the squadron landed on the surface to wait it out while Salm fled. Dendo, the Rogues, and Pestage set up camp on the planet's rugged ground.[2]

Ibtisam, Nrin, and the others stayed at the camp to watch Pestage while Antilles, Dendo, and Winter broke into the Imperial barracks to send a secret message to the New Republic Provisional Council. Ibtisam and Nrin once again discussed the matter of their relationship and how it went against native traditions; the Quarren proposed that, once the fighting was over and the Empire defeated, they go back to Mon Calamari and show their respective species how the rift between them could be healed. Their conversations were cut short by the arrival of a dozen Imperial TIE fighters coming in from the southwest; the Rogues powered up their fighters and went out to intercept them. During the battle, Ibtisam was hit by one of the Imperials, and despite Nrin's best efforts, she crashed in the forest and perished, though the other Rogues were unsure of her fate.[2]

LegacyEdit

Ibtisamdeath

Rogue Squadron mourns Ibtisam.

"She gave up her future to us. It is an investment in who we are and what we value. What we do with it, what we make of it will determine the ultimate value if what her life will mean. So to you, Ibtisam, and all our comrades, farewell. Though our struggle with the Empire continues, you brought it that much closer to an end. And when it is gone, you and your courage will be remembered and live on forever. May the Force always be with you."
―Wedge Antilles, speaking at Ibtisam's funeral[src]

When they returned to camp, Nrin threatened to kill Pestage if Ibtisam had died; he held the former Grand Vizier responsible, as the whole operation was to rescue him. A rescue team was sent out and brought her dead body back to the camp. The squadron was immensely saddened by her death and Nrin wept at her side for a long time. The Rogues engaged Admiral Delak Krennel's forces above Ciutric once again, though returned to the ground before making their final attempt to exit. A Humanocentric Pestage almost compromised the mission by refusing to travel aboard the same shuttle as Ibtisam's body, though Antilles made arrangements for her body to travel in a separate shuttle, claiming that she deserved better than Pestage as a cabinmate. In the end, the whole mission and Ibtisam's death were in vain, as Pestage defected back to the Empire. Rather than accept him, Delak Krennel murdered him, though the Rogues and Commando Team One managed to escape without any additional casualties.[2]

Ibtisam's funeral was attended by a large number of New Republic starfighter pilots, and Antilles gave a speech about her before she was finally put to rest.[2] The news of her relationship with Nrin eventually broke and it marked the beginning of improved relations between the Quarren and Mon Calamari.[12] Her death had a great effect on Nrin; he left Rogue Squadron to take a leave of absence, and it took him several years to fully come to terms with her loss.[13] Eventually, Nrin married a Twi'lek mechanic who had worked with the Rogues, Koyi Komad,[14] though neither he nor her other squadmates ever forgot Ibtisam.[13]

Personality and traitsEdit

Ibby

Ibtisam, in her flight suit.

"She wanted peace, an end to tyranny. From your kind, all she got was pain, and I will repay you for all of it!"
―Nrin Vakil, to Sate Pestage[src]

When Ibtisam first joined Rogue Squadron, she made no efforts to hide her disappointment at having to fly X-wings, which she saw as old and outdated. She spent much of her time arguing with her squadmates—particularly Nrin—about starfighters, to the annoyance of several of her fellow Rogues. Her argumentativeness did not stop at discussing starfighters; during her mission on Eiattu 6, she also argued about local politics and the native wildlife.[3] Ibtisam's initial interactions with Nrin conjured up the longstanding rivalry between their respective species.[15]

However, once she settled into her new squadron, Ibtisam's normal, softer personality came into place. She was a kind being,[9] and after the mission to Eiattu 6, she was generally regarded as one of the squadron's most cherished and liked members.[13] She was very social, and as well as Nrin, she formed lasting friendships with Rogues Huwla and Ilo. Ibtisam liked to have fun, and whenever she was not on duty, she spent her time enjoying herself in the company of others.[11][2] She also encouraged Nrin to have more fun and teased him about his serious nature initially. Ibtisam was very trusting of others, and while Nrin sought to hide his growing feelings for the Mon Calamari pilot, she shared them with her friends, and told Plourr of the dream she had had on Malrev.[8] The relationship between the two blossomed into love, which they hoped could be used as an example to heal the rift between the Mon Calamari and the Quarren.[15]

Ibtisam was quite resilient, and throughout her time with the Rogues, she showed a sort of strength and resolve uncharacteristic of females of her species.[1] Ibtisam was very brave, and put her life on the line for the freedom and safety of others numerous times in her career. She was not content to sit back and watch the Empire ravage her world and enslave the Mon Calamari and joined the Rebel Alliance, despite the obvious danger involved in fighting the Empire. During the Galactic Civil War, she fought against overwhelming odds, not for her own gain, but for the gain of others. During her funeral speech, Antilles honored her selfless nature and told her squadmates that she would have happily sacrificed her life for them.[2]

Talents and abilitiesEdit

"If I need a pilot for an op, I'm requesting you, Ibtisam."
―Kapp Dendo and Ibtisam[src]

Ibtisam was a talented starfighter pilot, showing skill behind the joysticks of both B-wings and X-wings.[1] She proved herself in battle against massive odds when dogfighting on Malrev,[8] and again when facing off against Uglies on Axxila, where she had to fly through the narrow streets and avoid hitting many obstacles.[11] Ibtisam, however, was not as talented a pilot as some of Rogue Squadron's elite, and she was shot down at least three times during her career. At Endor, she was no match for the 181st, and Fel's men again downed her over Brentaal IV.[1] Imperial pilots, working for Admiral Krennel, were able to shoot down and kill Ibtisam on Ciutric.[2] Nevertheless, she impressed Kapp Dendo enough that he requested she join his commando team should they require a pilot.[9]

As well as a talented pilot, Ibtisam was skilled with a blaster, utilizing both blaster pistols[1] and heavy blaster rifles during her time with the Rogues. On Eiattu 6, she showed her skills when she and several other members of Rogue Squadron fought their way out of Leonia Tavira's prison complex, forcing the moff to flee the planet.[3] Again on Malrev, she fought off native Irrukiine,[8] an act that was praised by fellow Rogue Wes Janson. When she and Janson teamed up with Dendo on Brentaal IV, she provided cover for Janson while he placed explosive charges on Isoto's weaponry.[9] She was also proficient at unarmed combat, which she showed when she, Nrin, and Xarcce Huwla clashed with the pirates on Axxila.[11]

Behind the scenesEdit

Ibtisamspace

Ibtisam, in what was the final page of the Rogue Squadron comic series.

Ibtisam was created by Michael A. Stackpole for the Rogue Squadron comic series, first appearing in The Warrior Princess in October 1996.[3] Stackpole used the character in the five successive story arcs,[8][9][10][11] until her death in Mandatory Retirement.[2] Ibtisam, particularly her relationship with Nrin Vakil, became a more important part of the plot as the series progressed. Stackpole later mentioned Ibtisam in the novel X-Wing: Isard's Revenge in 1999, though she was also mentioned in Who's Who in Rogue Squadron, Handbook 1: X-Wing Rogue Squadron, the Star Wars Encyclopedia, and both editions of The Essential Guide to Alien Species. She also had a cameo in X-Wing: Rogue Leader by W. Haden Blackman.

AppearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

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